Demonstrators rally at the Minnesota State Capitol in favor of raising the minimum wage on Feb. 25, 2014, in St. Paul, Minn.
Jim Mone/AP

One of country’s lowest minimum wages gets major hike

Updated

Minnesota Democrats have struck a deal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $9.50 by 2016, party leaders announced on Monday.  

“No Minnesotan should have to work a 40-hour week and continue to live in poverty,” Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s Paul Thissen, the House Speaker, said, according the St. Cloud Times.

In a press conference on Monday, party leaders announced a crucial—and much fought over—part of the bill: the state’s minimum wage would be indexed—tied to inflation—starting in 2018, with an annual cap of 2.5%, though the governor’s administration does have the right to stop these automatic hikes.

While lawmakers had agreed on a $9.50 wage as early as last summer, they spent months negotiating over these automatic increases.

Minnesota’s current minimum wage is among the lowest in the nation—$5.25 for smaller companies, $6.15 for larger companies, though many employees are paid the higher, federal minimum wage of $7.25. After the hike, it will be among the highest minimum wages. 

Minnesota follows in the footsteps of Connecticut, which became the first state to pass a $10.10 minimum wage in March, and the 13 states who hiked their minimum wage last year.

Minimum Wage

One of country’s lowest minimum wages gets major hike

Updated